By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com May 21, 2013 at 9:40AM
Now that Cannes is underway, we're starting the nine-month tick towards awards season -- with the Coens' "Inside Llewyn Davis" already looking like a Best Picture potential, if the Cannes reviews are anything to go by. And DreamWorks is celebrating the gearing up of the Oscar-hunting machinery by shuffling around a couple of their release dates.
First, and most importantly, is "The Fifth Estate," Bill Condon's tale of Wikileaks co-founders Julian Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg. The film's hotly anticipated not just because of its controversial subject matter, which threatens to draw heat both from the Establishment and from Assange's supporters, but also because it stars internet sensation and "Star Trek Into Darkness" villain Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange. He leads an ace cast, including Daniel Bruhl, Dan Stevens, Alicia Vikander, Carice Van Houten, Anthony Mackie, Stanley Tucci, Laura Linney and Peter Capaldi, so it's no surprise that awards-watchers have had their eye on this one since it was announced.
It looks like we're getting it sooner than expected; the film's just been moved from its old November 15th date to October 11th. That might seem like a vote of no-confidence in the film's awards prospects, but it actually seems like a smart move to us from DreamWorks/Disney; it was meant to open opposite some heavyweight competition, in the shape of Ridley Scott's "The Counselor" and Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf Of Wall Street," whereas now it still has some stiff competition, in the shape of "Captain Phillips" and "Oldboy," but it has a little more room to find its feet, especially as it'll start off as a limited release. It also can't be an accident that it's nearly the same date that "The Social Network" opened three years ago...
Meanwhile, the studio was set to open "The Delivery Man," the Vince Vaughn-starring remake of Canadian comedy hit "Starbuck," the week before, on October 4th. But presumably to give "The Fifth Estate" more focus, and to avoid opening against "Gravity," "Sin City 2" and "Out Of The Furnace," the film has moved to Thanksgiving weekend, where it'll face off with "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." Given that the same date proved so successful for "Silver Linings Playbook" last year, could they have awards hopes in mind for that too? We'd be surprised -- it seems more like smart Thanksgiving counter-programming against a young adult blockbuster with a very different target audience -- but stranger things have happened. Oh, and finally, speaking of young adult adaptations, if you're eagerly anticipating "The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones," you have 48 hours less to wait, as the movie will now open on Wednesday August 21st. [Box Office Mojo]